Dubai: Sorana Cirstea joined former two-time Dubai champion Venus Williams, Lucie Safarova and Carla Suarez Navarro into the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open that got under way at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Monday.
Cirstea was the last one through to the second round with a calculated 6-4, 6-3 win over Italian Roberta Vinci after Venus, Suarez Navarro and Safarova had booked their places earlier during the day.
Cirstea took an hour and six minutes to advance to a meeting with fourth seed Sara Errani on Wednesday.
Earlier, Venus took her first step for a third title in Dubai with a clinical 6-3, 6-2 win over Elena Vesnina of Russia after Safarova had opened the tournament with a 6-3, 7-5 win over American Sloane Stephens.
The older of the Williams sisters, Venus has won here on the two of the previous five occasions that she has played – in 2009 and 2010 – making her only the second player (after Justine Henin) to successfully defend her crown in this tournament.
In 2009, she defeated Virginie Razzano of Italy 6-4, 6-2 for the title, while a year later, the American defended her title with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Viktoria Azarenka.
Ironically, Monday’s first round ouster was the first defeat for Russian Vesnina after three meetings between the two.
Lucie Safarova bt Sloane Stephens 6-3, 7-5; Ekaterina Makarova bt Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 6-7, 6-4; Carla Suarez Navarro bt Nadia Petrova 6-3, 6-2; Venus Williams bt Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-2; Sorana Cirstea bt Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-3.